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A successful joint presence at the APS March Meeting 2019

Between March 4 to 8, 2019, German research institutions and funding organisations once again appeared under the “Research in Germany” banner at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society. The large joint booth and a Science Lunch attracted the interest of the international research community to Germany as a research location.

(27.03.19) Apart from being one of the most important historically significant cities on the US east coast, Boston is also home to the prestigious Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other internationally renowned sites of research and education. Thus, Boston was the ideal venue for the world’s most famous conference on solid-state physics. As in previous years, over 11,000 researchers and exhibitors from around the world convened at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) to discuss innovations in the field of physics, and to present issues surrounding supporting physics’ research. “Research in Germany” was the most visible national research marketing initiative present at the conference, a fact, among others, that attracted particular attention to the showcase.

The initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) participated at the APS March Meeting with a large joint booth and a Science Lunch event. The large information booth featured institutes from the Max Planck Society (MPG), the Fraunhofer Society (FhG) as well as the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG, German Physical Society), and was supported by many of their members. An information counter also provided visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the new Clusters of Excellence in physics funded by Germany's federal and state governments within the framework of the Excellence Strategy. The information booth therefore covered the full spectrum of the professional research and institution landscape and current research policy developments in Germany. In addition to the subject-specific information presented, as in previous years, the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AFAvH), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) were on hand to provide individual information about funding opportunities in Germany. The wide range of information offered at the booth attracted considerable interest from international physicists. The joint booth also provided a central point for German researchers who used it as a meeting point and for discussions. Last but not least, the networking opportunities offered to national experts at the “Research in Germany” booth have a considerable, identity-enhancing effect and are valuable for the entire initiative.

The stakeholders at the “Research in Germany” joint booth:

The “Research in Germany” Science Lunch on March 6 offered conference visitors the perfect opportunity to learn more about doctoral, research and funding opportunities and to talk directly to researchers from Germany. An opening address by Ellen Reister (DFG) was followed by three introductory personal statements from international researchers with experience in Germany. “It is really a good place to go for researchers,” encouraged Natalia Dubrovinskaia (University of Bayreuth), Alfredo Alexander-Katz (MIT, Cambridge, USA) and Eteri Svandize (MPI for Chemical Physics of Solids, Dresden). Around 40 participants were then invited to take part in more in-depth discussions on graduate programmes, early career researcher programmes, research opportunities at different types of institution and activities by research associations in Germany at a total of seven topic tables. The opportunity to talk to representatives of the new Clusters of Excellence and the newly founded Max Planck Schools, represented for the first time at the “Research in Germany” showcase, were particularly popular among Science Lunch visitors. It was even possible to win over applicants for future calls.

The balanced composition of participants, the positive reception from international researchers and the increasing networking opportunities for the German research community around the “Research in Germany“ booth at the APS March Meeting, provide a solid foundation and an ideal starting point for further successful joint activities in coming years.

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